Saturday, September 25, 2010

Awakening Avery by Laurie Lewis - a Review

You may know Laurie Lewis as L C Lewis, a name under which she writes for her wonderful Free Men and Dreamers series set in the years leading up to and during the War of 1812.

Last year, Laurie took a break from her well-researched portrayal of how this war affected two families and turned her attention to a more personal matter in her most recent book, Awakening Avery.

Laurie usually writes her main characters a few decades younger than she is--lots of us do that, especially those of us who write books with a little romance in them. In Awakening Avery, Laurie Lewis has moved away from that pattern, for her main character is Avery Thompson, a middle-aged, recently widowed lady.

I love how Laurie introduces us to Avery's discovery of the nitty gritty details of a solo existence:

She smashed the television first, though she hadn't intended to. She had fumbled with the remote for ten minutes, trying to figure out how to record an NBC special, and when the TiVo brought up the screen with the list of programs to record--his list filled with westerns and mysteries and classic comedies--she lost it. She hurled the remote across the room, not intending for it to hit the center of the screen, but it did.

I can relate to that. In my house, my husband handles the remote. Laurie goes on:

There was something surprisingly cathartic about the sound. The cracking glass and the sprinkling shards of glass sounded familiar to her, like the inward sounds of her long denied heart, which broke into a thousand pieces every morning when she woke up in an empty bed and went into the bathroom where only one toothbrush hung in the holder.

That's how we meet Avery, still bruised and crippled by her loss. As we spend time with her, we watch her begin to heal, and as she heals, she begins to reach out to others. It's through this reaching out that she finds love a second time around.

Don't get me wrong. This isn't a romance. It's more like a coming-of-age story, but not really like that, either. Maybe you could call it a 'coming-of-middle-age' story. It's a sweet read for a lazy weekend, a good winder-down after a stressfull week.

Leatherwood Press publishes for the LDS market, and though Avery is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that is only one side of her character. This book could be read and enjoyed by a member of any faith, because the challenges that Avery meets in her journey are common to us all.

Laurie Lewis changes to L. C. Lewis and returns to early America for her forthcoming book Oh Say Can you See. I'll review it here when it comes out.


Valerie Ipson said...

That's in my waiting-to-be-read stack!

CTW said...

This sounds like a book I would enjoy.

Liz Adair said...

Glad you've already got the book in your stack, Valerie. And Carole, I think you would enjoy it. It's nice to read about a mature lady for a change.

Thanks for your comments, gals.

Tina Scott, the writing artist said...

What a thoughtful review. It's made me very interested in reading it. Thanks.